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Gwinnett County officials asked state lawmakers to toughen erosion and sediment control rules to help protect rivers and streams.
"The rules need fixing," said Jim Scarbrough, deputy director of the county's Department of Public Utilities. "They're kind of broken."
The county government, the school board, judges and other groups pitched ideas and suggestions to the Gwinnett legislative delegation on Monday. The General Assembly will convene in January, and meeting in November gives the legislators time to draft new laws or prepare to argue for or against issues facing their constituents.
Throughout the day, an estimated 50 people and nine state representatives and senators attended the series of presentations at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.
Scarbrough urged the lawmakers to allow counties to issue stop-work orders to developers who show a blatant disregard for storm water rules. Currently, the county can cite a developer and take him to Recorder's Court, where he might receive a small fine.
"A stop-work order is serious business," Scarbrough said.
He also lobbied for state certification of all designers, reviewers, inspectors and construction contractors working on silt containment systems.
Failure to make developers toe the line could make the county rivers and streams out of compliance with state standards, and then the state cracks down on the county, he said. But, he said, the county needs more tools to force compliance by developers.